VOLLEYBALL: Bearcats snap streak

Amber North

The volleyball team was on a high, coming off nine games of perfection. Then it traveled to Cincinnati Tuesday in hopes of duplicating last season’s 3-0 victory against the Bearcats, and pushing its winning streak to double digits.

But Cincinnati had other plans.

UC gave Western a hard time from the start, sweeping the Lady Toppers (30-23, 30-27, 30-27).

The two teams were close in hitting, with Western hitting .272 for the match while UC hit .273. But it was the Lady Toppers’ serving that hurt them, recording 16 service errors and no aces.

“I’m not so worried about winning streaks,” coach Travis Hudson said. “They’re a good volleyball team, but I certainly thought we could go out with the win had we played well.”

The Bearcats (10-1) were the first team to defeat Western (9-3) since Aug. 30, halting the streak.

“We just didn’t play well,” Hudson said. “You have to play well against good teams, and we didn’t capitalize when needed to.”

The first game started off well for the Lady Toppers with a four-point lead. But Western couldn’t sustain the momentum.

“It’s hard not to be disappointed when you lose to a team you know you’re better than,” sophomore Caron Blotch said.

Junior Amanda Schiff led the team with nine kills for the match.

Hudson said the key factor of the loss was missing out on opportunities.

“They were digging balls and following through with them,” Hudson said. “We were digging balls but we were not doing anything with them.”

The Lady Toppers’ next match is this weekend in Bloomington, Ind., at the IU Invitational.

Western takes on Austin Peay at 4 p.m. Friday. The Governors enter the tournament with a 5-4 record and have won three of their last four matches.

The Billikens are 5-8, winning their last three of four matches. The Hoosiers are at 4-4, including a win over No. 12 Kansas State.

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